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Women’s Studies

(For 2014–2015 academic year)

Professors Grapard, Wider
Associate Professors Julien, Loe (Director, fall)
Assistant Professors Serna, Simonson

Advisory Committee Baldwin, Benson, Cardelús (Director, spring), Cushing, Grapard, Guglieri, Harsh, Harsin, Julien, Keen, Knuth Klenck, LaFrance, Loe (Director, fall), Ríos-Rojas, Rugg, Simonson, Spring, Thomson, Wider

The Women’s Studies Program is built on the understanding that gender is a crucial category of human knowledge and action. Women’s studies recognizes the complexity of human lives as gender interconnects with sexuality, race, class, ability, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and age in the constitution of experience and identities. It thus seeks to provide insights which lead one beyond older and more exclusionary theories and practices.

The program is at its core interdisciplinary, integrating knowledge from different disciplines to encourage critical engagement with all forms of experience from a feminist standpoint. Interdisciplinary study leads students to question frameworks, concepts, and methods, enabling them to understand better both the past and the contemporary world, while envisioning a future beyond traditional roles and inequities. By emphasizing interdisciplinarity, the program seeks to help students acquire the tools to analyze critically the societal, cultural, global, and personal issues that shape their lives and challenge them to look at these issues from multiple perspectives. It also encourages them to reflect on the ways in which knowledge is produced within different and oftentimes unrecognized systems of oppression, and to examine categories that are presented as natural and permanent in their cultural and historical context. Finally, the program strives to help its students acquire the skills of critical analysis and imagine alternatives that challenge the naturalizing of inequalities.

Consonant with the goal of promoting new theoretical frameworks, the related and emerging field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies provides the basis for an independent minor affiliated with the Women’s Studies Program. It is described below.

Major Program

1. A minimum of eight courses, three of which are required as follows:
a. WMST 202, Women’s Lives: An Introduction to Women’s Studies. A student must receive a minimum grade of C in WMST 202 in order to be admitted to the major program.
b. WMST 490, Senior Seminar
c. A course in feminist theory such as
ANTH 301, Kinship and Marriage
ANTH 315, Gender and Culture
EDUC 303, Gender, Education, and International Development
EDUC 312, Women and Education
EDUC 316, Moral Development and Education
ENGL 341, Critical Theory: History, Sexuality, and Queer Time
ENGL 448, Studies in 19th-Century Fiction
PCON 260, Gender in Conflict and Peace
PHIL 360, Philosophy and Feminisms
POSC 451, Seminar: Africa in World Politics
SPAN 477, Women Writing in Latin America
WRIT 242, Stand and Speak: Feminist Rhetorics and Social Change
WRIT 347, Language and Gender

2. At least five more courses from the following list, taken from at least two of the divisions:
a. CORE 144S, The Psychology of Oppression (Students who use this course to meet a Liberal Arts Core requirement may also use it to count toward the major or minor.)
FMST 350, Hollywood and the World: Performing Gender and Sexuality Onscreen
LGBT 220, Lives, Communities, and Modes of Critical Inquiry: An Exploration into LGBTQ Studies
LGBT 303, Queer Identities and Global Discourses
LGBT 350, Sexuality, Gender, and the Law
PCON 260, Gender in Conflict and Peace
WMST 302, Women’s Lives in Biographyand Autobiography
WMST 324, The Scandinavian Welfare State: A Gendered Perspective
WRIT 242, Stand and Speak: Feminist Rhetorics and Social Change
WRIT 347, Language and Gender
b. ANTH 215, Women, Work, and Family
ANTH 301, Kinship and Marriage
ANTH 315, Gender and Culture
ANTH 371, Gender and Society in Africa
ECON 234, Gender in the Economy
EDUC 312, Women and Education
EDUC 316, Moral Development and Education
GEOG 321, Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change
HIST 212, The Emergence of the Modern Woman
HIST 311, Women’s Rights and Women’s Suffrage in U.S. History
HIST 348, History of Women in Europe in Modern Times
POSC 451, Seminar: Africa in World Politics
SOCI 220, Gender, Sexuality, and Society
SOCI 306, Sociology of the Family
SOCI 367, Sociology of Gender
SOCI 369, Women, Health, and Medicine

c. CLAS 232, Sexuality and Gender in Classical Antiquity
ENGL 204, Native American Writers
(when focused on writings of women)
ENGL 207, New Immigrant Voices
ENGL 208, Introduction to Literary Study: Sex and the Global City
ENGL 305, The Female Protagonist
ENGL 306, Antebellum American Literature
ENGL 333, African/Diaspora Women’s Narrative
ENGL 341, Critical Theory: History, Sexuality, and Queer Time
ENGL 362, Colonial Desires: Race, Sex, and Modernity in Literature
ENGL 405, The Brontës
ENGL 408, Medieval Identities
ENGL 412, Jane Austen and the Rise of the Woman Novelist
ENGL 433, Caribbean Literature (when focused on writings of women)
ENGL 442, Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster
ENGL 460, Studies in the Middle Ages (the literature of medieval women)
FREN 445, 20thCentury French Autobiography
FREN 453, 20th-Century French Literature II
FREN 455, Francophone Voices from North Africa
PHIL 360, Philosophy and Feminisms
RELG/JWST 213, The Bible as/and Literature
RELG 234, Women and Religious Traditions
RELG 253, Sex, Love, and God: Religion and Queer Studies
RELG/JWST 343, Gender and Judaism
SPAN 226, Latin American Women Writers
SPAN 474, Contemporary Spanish Theater
SPAN 477, Women Writing in Latin America
3. Other courses may be counted toward a women’s studies major or minor, depending on the orientation of the course, and/or the direction of the readings and student projects during a particular year. Such courses need the approval of the instructor and the women’s studies director to be counted toward a women’s studies major or minor.
These courses include
ARTS 351, Women and Art
ARTS 484, Seminar on Topical Theme in Art
CORE 151, Legacies of the Ancient World
CORE 166C, India
EDUC 204, Child and Adolescent Development
EDUC 310, Politics in Education
ENGL 208, Introduction to Literary Study: Sex and the Global City
ENGL 336, Native American Literature
ENGL 346, Victorian Poets and Essayists
ENGL 363, Contemporary Fiction
ENGL 418, Studies in American Literature
ENGL 461, Studies in the Renaissance
HIST 480, Seminar on Problems in Latin American History
(Gender and the State)
PHIL 417, Advanced Topics (Patriarchy)
POSC 317, Identity Politics
POSC/REST 359, Power in Russia from Gorbachev to Putin
PSYC 300, Topics in Psychology (Psychology of Gender)
RELG/JWST 208, The Hebrew Bible in America
RELG/JWST 210, Torah (The Five Books of Moses)
RELG 282, Experiencing Islam
RELG 446, Philosophy and Faith
SOCI 312, Social Inequality
SOCI 333, Sociology of the Life Course
WMST 291, 391, 491, Independent Study
WMST 499, Honors in Women’s Studies
4. Students’ relationships with their advisers are a critical part of the women’s studies program. Following admission to the program, students, in consultation with their advisers, may develop a sequence of required and elective courses related to a particular topic. Some suggested topics are family studies; women in the United States; global perspectives on women; women, work, and family; women and social change; women and religion; and women, knowledge, and text.

Minor Program:

1. A minimum of five courses, two of which are required as follows:
a. WMST 202, Women’s Lives: An Introduction to Women’s Studies
b. WMST 490, Senior Seminar
2. At least three courses from the list approved for the major. These are taken in at least two different departments and are chosen in consultation with an adviser selected from the Women’s Studies Program staff.

Honors and High Honors

Students who qualify and choose to work toward honors in women’s studies should announce their intention to do so by submitting proposals preceding their final term of study at Colgate. A proposal requires the sponsorship and direction of a women’s studies faculty member and approval of the director. The Women’s Studies Advisory Committee will be notified of this proposal prior to the final term of study. During the final term, honors candidates register for WMST 499 and carry out individual research projects related to their central topics of study. Honors in women’s studies may be awarded to majors who have a GPA of at least 3.20 in all women’s studies courses, who have completed an approved women’s studies honors project, and whose projects have been approved by faculty sponsors and by the women’s studies director. High honors in women’s studies may be awarded to successful honors candidates who have been invited to present the results of their written projects in oral form to the women’s studies faculty. Approval for high honors will be based on an evaluation of the quality of the project, as well as of the candidate’s ability to communicate across disciplines in the oral examination.

Awards

See “Honors and Awards: Women’s Studies” in Chapter VI.

Course Offerings

Courses unique to the Women’s Studies Program are described below. Descriptions of other courses noted above may be found under appropriate departments.

202 Women’s Lives: An Introduction to Women’s Studies
H. Julien, M. Loe, M. Simonson, S. Wider
This interdisciplinary course explores women’s past and present circumstances and envisions future possibilities. Through a variety of materials and methodologies, issues of gender are analyzed in their intersections with such factors as class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and historical-cultural location. Students also are introduced to the various “waves” of “the women’s movement/s,” as well as to different feminist frameworks for understanding the world.

302 Women’s Lives in Biography and Autobiography

Staff
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The World would split open.” So wrote the poet Muriel Rukeyser. In this seminar students read autobiography and biography in order to understand the woman and her culture. The course balances a study of the lives of prominent, exceptional women with study of the ordinary lives of ordinary people.

324 The Scandinavian Welfare State: A Gendered Perspective
U. Grapard
This extended study course explores how a Scandinavian society (Denmark) negotiates the relationships among working life, family life, and the state. The course is interdisciplinary in nature, with course material coming primarily from the social sciences and women’s studies. Readings focus on how gender structures the labor market and people’s daily lives. Students explore gendered aspects of the political process and examine how public policy affects the balance between work and family. The on-campus component also prepares students for independent research projects and for interaction with scholars and activists in Denmark. Students spend three weeks in Copenhagen and one week traveling to regional research centers. Several cultural visits are part of the course, and a study of the Skagens painters (Danish Impressionists) culminates with a weekend visit to Skagen. The course is designed for 12–15 sophomores and juniors. There are no prerequisites, but completion of one or two courses in the social sciences is an advantage.

490 Seminar
Staff
The course is taught by the members of the women’s studies faculty, and the content of the course takes a different shape depending on the instructor. There are common elements that define the way the seminar is structured and taught. The content of the course is interdisciplinary; the course is rooted in and utilizes feminist theory; students complete major research projects; and, where appropriate, students engage in some form of praxis in the process of understanding the connection between the classroom and the world in which we live. Preference given to senior majors and minors; other students with background in women’s studies must have permission of instructor. Although juniors may take the course with permission of instructor, majors and minors are still required to take it in the spring semester of their senior year.

291, 391, 491 Independent Study

499 Honors Studies

Affiliated Minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies

Advisory Committee Grapard, Julien (Director), Kent, Loe, Rugg, Stern, Valente

The affiliated minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies (LGBT) examines the lives and representations of individuals and groups considered sexual minorities, as well as the various forces that have affected them across cultures and throughout time. Sexuality offers a critical lens to analyze communities, cultures, and subcultures; institutions, discourses, and literatures; economic and political movements; the social construction of power, status, and hierarchies; and identity categories configured on the basis of age, ability, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and religion. Moreover, sexuality is considered as the subject of biological, medical, and psychological research. LGBT studies is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary minor that emphasizes the application of new theories and methodologies (e.g., queer, feminist, critical race, and multicultural theories) to established disciplines as it promotes the generation of new knowledge within traditional fields. Through the minor, students gain critical understandings of normative categorization, query unspoken assumptions, examine social stratification and distributions of power, and explore the diversity of forms that sexuality has taken historically and in contemporary contexts.

Minor Program:

1. A minimum of five courses, of which:
a. At least three courses should be at the 300 or 400 level
b. No more than two courses should come from a single department or program other than LGBT
c. No more than one course should earn credit for an LGBT minor and the student’s major
2. One course must be taken from the following list and completed prior to declaring the minor:
LGBT 220, Lives, Communities, and Modes of Critical Inquiry: An Exploration into LGBTQ Studies
RELG 253, Sex, Love, and God: Religion and Queer Studies
SOCI 220, Gender, Sexuality, and Society

3. At least four additional courses chosen from the following lists and in consultation with an adviser typically selected from the LGBT Advisory Committee:
a. CLAS 232, Sexuality and Gender in Classical Antiquity
ENGL 341, Critical Theory: History, Sexuality, and Queer Time
LGBT 220, Lives, Communities, and Modes of Critical Inquiry: An Exploration into LGBTQ Studies
LGBT/EDUC 241, Queering Education
LGBT 303, Queer Identities and Global Discourses
LGBT 350, Sexuality, Gender, and the Law
POSC 415, Seminar: Social Justice Politics and Policy
RELG 253, Sex, Love, and God: Religion and Queer Studies
SOCI 220, Gender, Sexuality, and Society

b. Other courses may be counted toward an LGBT minor, depending on the orientation of the course and/or the direction of the readings and student projects during a particular year. Such courses need the approval of the instructor and the LGBT director to be counted toward an LGBT minor. These courses include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
ANTH 301, Kinship and Marriage
ANTH 315, Gender and Culture
ANTH 371, Gender and Society in Africa
ECON 234, Gender in the Economy
EDUC 204, Child and Adolescent Development
ENGL 305, The Female Protagonist
ENGL 340, Critical Theory: Language, Semiotics, and Form
ENGL 363, Contemporary Fiction
FMST 350, Hollywood and the World: Performing Gender and Sexuality Onscreen
FREN 445, 20th-Century French Autobiography
FREN 450, 20th-Century French Literature I
LGBT 391, 491, Independent Study
WMST 202, Women’s Lives: An Introduction to Women’s Studies
WMST 324, The Scandinavian Welfare State: A Gendered Perspective

4. Completing the minor requires students to work closely with their course instructors, their advisers, and the LGBT director.

Course Offerings

Courses unique to the LGBT minor are described below. Descriptions of other courses noted above may be found under appropriate departments.

220 Lives, Communities, and Modes of Critical Inquiry: An Exploration into LGBTQ Studies.
K. Valente
The course explores the lives, experiences, and representations of LGBTQ persons, those who identify or are identified as transgressive in terms of their sexuality and/or gender expression. Particular emphases may vary, but topics typically explore LGBTQ communities and families, cultures, and subcultures; histories, institutions, and literatures; and/or economic and political lives. Selected topics serve to expose complex cultural forces that continue to shape sexuality and regulate its various expressions. The course promotes the examination of new theories and methodologies in relation to established disciplines as it underscores the generation of new knowledge within traditional fields of scholarship. By examining sexualities, students gain an understanding of and respect for other differences in human lives such as age, ability, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and religion. This course counts toward the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

241 Queering Education
This course is crosslisted as EDUC 241. For course description, see  "Educational Studies: Course Offerings.";

303 Queer Identities and Global Discourses
K. Valente
Queer identities are — and have long been — enmeshed within large-scale circuits of exchange engendered by the movement of people, ideologies, markets, and capital. This course considers transnational conceptualizations and circulations associated with gender or sexual nonconformity. In doing so, it emphasizes ways of interrogating queer citizenship that purposefully attend to dynamics exemplifying complex interactions on global and local scales. Rather than assuming a particular narrative, the course examines the way by which queer identities are variously constructed and contested.

350 Sexuality, Gender, and the Law
Staff
The course examines the effects of the U.S. legal system on the lives of the LGBTQ communities; the influence of religion, science, and culture on the laws affecting LGBTQ individuals; and the processes by which LGBTQ citizens may advance their legal rights. Constitutional theories such as equal protection, privacy, due process, liberty interests, and states’ rights are applied to issues such as consensual sodomy, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ parenting, employment rights, military policy, and freedoms of public school students. The power of the U.S. Supreme Court to shape laws concerning LGBTQ issues not only for the present society but for future generations is also examined. Cases studied are supplemented with secondary works. These works include writings by traditional legal scholars as well as works by feminists, race-based scholars, and queer theorists to create a fuller perspective. Through this exploration into the legal reality of a marginalized group, students see how the U.S. legal system continues to evolve in its struggle to provide equality for all of its citizens. This course counts toward the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement. (Formerly LGBT 250.)

291, 391, 491 Independent Study